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Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

June 19th, 2019 Comments off
DemocratsIndependentsElephantInRoomThirdParties2020KickoffManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Still from video, posted further below.

Love him.

 

Hate him.

The unsure and uncertain.

Whatever your view of the president, there is one thing that is certain.  A single tweet from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – or wherever the 45th president happens to be – can change the course of the top news story for the day.

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, per a mainstream media source, said the president’s name some 86 times in a recent public appearance. As the head of the Republican Party, whose symbol is the elephant, the headline is an apt reference to President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump.

The Democrats will have their first debates on June 26 and 27 in Miami, per CNN.

While there are rumblings of a challenge of President Trump among Republicans, there is nothing serious at this time. Last night, in a packed Amway Center arena in Orlando, FL, POTUS Trump formally launched his reelection bid.

President Trump’s campaign slogan this time? “Keep America Great.”

 

“A Rigged System…”

There are several things in the United States that fits President Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders’ description of a ‘rigged system.’

Senator Sanders, VT-I, who is running as a self-styled Democratic Socialist for the Democratic Party nomination for president got the short end of the stick in 2016 in his race against Secretary Hillary Clinton. Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile, who has become a Fox News contributor, stressed several times during her book tour for Hacks that she found clear evidence that the Democratic Party and tilted the scales against Sanders.

The United States is a republic with democratic elements to the system. But for decades, there has been what Senator Rand Paul (KY-R) has called an “unholy alliance” between the two major parties. In dozens of states, ‘ballot access’ is not an easy process. That’s no accident. That’s designed to create a duopoly between Democrats and Republicans.

As political independents, we are believers that ballot access should be far more easy for third parties to achieve. At present, while it is up in the air if billionaire Howard Schultz, of Starbucks fame, will in fact follow through with his threat for a serious independent campaign for the presidency, it is worth mentioning that the last serious such effort was by another billionaire, Ross Perot.

Monopolization takes on many forms, and political monopolization is one of them.  While it is not technically a monopoly, duopoly and oligopoly are variations on the theme. As the definitions below reflect, collusion between such parties can create thinly veiled forms of control over large numbers of people.

There are certainly distinctions between Democrats and Republicans, so MHProNews does not fall into the camp that claims that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties.  Of course, there are differences.

But the uber rich, their corporations, their nonprofits, and political action committees (PACs) can provide funding to candidates on both sides of an issue in a variety of ways that masks what is occurring to all but a few who pay close attention to the details.

 

DuopolyOligopyMonopolyWikiDefinitionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Warren Buffett, the Manufactured Housing Institute, and Politics

Warren Buffett is the well-known chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He’s routinely cited as the third richest man on earth.  He is buddies with the other uber-wealthy, such as mega-billionaires Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. With Bezos, Buffett’s Berkshire now has clear ties through roughly a billion dollars’ worth of stock in Bezos-led Amazon. With Microsoft founder Gates, Buffett has long had ties too.  Among them are Buffett’s contributions in billions of dollars’ worth of Berkshire stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, of which the Gates foundation website says Buffett is a trustee.

Bezos, Gates and Buffett are among those billionaires who routinely support Democrats. That is, within the norms of the law and morality, their right, just as some give to Republicans or others.

But there is clear and compelling evidence – publicly undisputed at this time by those in question – that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is dominated by a few power players.  Chief among those are Berkshire subsidiaries, including Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corporation, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and a range of other firms, including Shaw, various brokerage firms and companies like Wells Fargo that isn’t owned by Berkshire, yet Berkshire routinely has nearly the legal limit in Wells Fargo stock holdings.

There are several paths that money – including for political campaigns – can easily flow through with relative difficult to detect.

By de facto controlling MHI, the Berkshire brands have effective control over their MHI PAC. There are prominent Democrats, such as former MHI Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, who are involved in the MHI PAC. Smith chairs the MHI PAC on this date, per the MHI website.

 

MHIPacManufacturedHousingInstitutePAC6192019DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Our recent exclusive and data-driven report linked below reflects that the MHI PAC tends to donate more to Republicans than Democrats, but give to both. That means, they are buying influence with politicians in both major parties, who in turn tend to do what they want.

 

Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

 

That must be kept in mind when issues such as the failed Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act come up for votes. For years, there was Buffett backing President Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton, which pledged to pass and protect from change the Dodd-Frank legislation. Meanwhile, the MHI PAC and MHI itself were lobbying to ‘pass’ Preserving Access. But Buffett’s and Berkshire’s fingerprints are also on organizations such as Prosperity Now.

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Rephrased, Buffett and his money are on both sides of key issues to the industry.  The reports linked above and below outline how this can veil artificial headwinds used by Berkshire as ‘sharks in the water’ in their ‘strategic moat.

This is how monopolistic style power over the marketplace is forged.

President Trump, and presidential hopefuls like Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, can claim that they are to a degree immune from being ‘bought and paid for’ by major donors.

But there are so many nuanced ways that money and influence flow that it is not easy to affirm such assertions with certainty. Should Warren become her party’s nominee, for example, at that point she is certainly going to be subject to all the influence groups that exert power over the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

 

We Provide, You Decide

MHProNews led the way in prior election cycles in providing political coverage and analysis in manufactured housing.  Few things have more influence over business than politics does, because the laws are made and enforced by politicos and their allies.

We will provide fair and balanced coverage of President Trump’s reelection effort, as well as coverage of serious independents and of the Democratic field too.

The President’s kick off rally last night was carried by a CSPAN channel, but there was a glitch during part of their broadcast.  So, both the Fox News and the CBS versions of the president’s kickoff rally are posted below.

 

 

Note that Major Garrett, with CBS News shared some fascinating insights from Brad Parscale, who heads up the Trump 2020 campaign effort.  It is worth watching, as it goes into the issue of public polling and its accuracy. The Fox News video below includes Vice President Mike Pence, who introduced President Trump and First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Melania Trump, who also briefly addressed the packed Amway Center.

 

 

The past roughly 2½ years has revealed that America can attract back capital that fled overseas.  Jobs once thought lost, can be recovered. This is a matter of policy and law.

  • Complex and higher taxes,
  • complex regulations,
  • access to capital and credit,
  • meaningful access to the political system,
  • media access and influence

are all arguably tilted in the favor of larger companies and conglomerates. As a pro-manufactured housing industry publisher that is also pro-consumer, we believe there is a clear trail of evidence that Berkshire brands, working at times in concert with a relatively small group of other major players, has de facto rigged the system in manufactured housing.

The result of that is an industry has fewer shipments today than the year that Buffett led Berkshire entered the industry in 2003. At the same time, the market share of Clayton Homes has grown dramatically.  Are these coincidences?

Or is it a coincidence that Berkshire’s strong influence over manufactured home lending has arguably been exerted to redirect the efforts of the GSEs away from the majority of manufactured homes, as the law intended, to only a small select number of a ‘new class’ of far more costly manufactured homes that was and is supported by Clayton Homes and MHI?

These are matters that merit congressional and other investigations. Indeed, Clayton is being investigated by several federal agencies, some of which is covered in the mainstream news video below.

 

 

Here on MHProNews, our slogan has long been, “We Provide, You Decide.” © We share the evidence, the money trail, and the facts in a way that others can follow, step-by-step.  That makes your ability to plan – especially as an independent business or investor – that much easier.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

 

But it isn’t easy.

For years, we’ve been peeling the onion of an arguably rigged system in manufactured housing back, one layer at a time.  We’ve given Clayton, 21st, MHI and their outside attorney a chance to respond to such concerns and allegations.  Up until 2¼ years ago, they routinely responded readily and promptly.  But since that time, they’ve been largely mute. It was during that last 2+ years that MHProNews got closer to the various methods and ways that the system has been rigged in favor of certain major players.  Is it a coincidence that they’ve taken the 5th as we revealed more information?

Nor should the published scandals surrounding the various most recent MHI Executive Committee leaders be ignored.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Satirical MHI logo provided under fair use guidelines.

 

Our reports, fact-checks and analysis has perhaps resulted in a loss of ad revenues from MHI, Clayton, 21st and others that used to financially support this website. That is what it is, but it also meaningfully demonstrates that we are not swayed in our reports and analysis by advertising.

It is ‘fearless’ coverage that is based upon evidence, not mere opinion, that has made and kept us the runaway #1 trade media in all of manufactured housing. Buckle up, because there is more to come.

Whatever your views on the 45th president, the fact remains that he attracted enough Obama-Biden era voters to his cause in 2016 to crack the ‘blue wall,’ winning Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Battleground states of Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida went for candidate Trump too.

While their styles are obviously different, the Democrat turned Republican Ronald Reagan, and the Democrat turned Republican Donald J. Trump have both tapped into blue collar appeal. With a field of Democratic candidates that hovers around 2 dozen candidates, the possibility for some third-party candidacies, this promises to be a memorable electoral season.

Using mainstream polls, but adjusting for their ‘internals,’ MHProNews in 2016 predicted the upset win of Donald J. Trump as well as the GOP victories in the House and Senate.  Meanwhile, MHI and their team had two pro-Hillary Clinton speakers on their stage in Chicago mere days before the famous upset. Their high-dollar predictions proved wrong on several levels.

This is therefore demonstrably the manufactured housing industry’s best coverage. Sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news at the link above or further below the byline.

 

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

We tackle the topics other trade media in MHVille are afraid to cover with the clarity and objectivity that we do.  So be right here at the home of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, commentary.)

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

 

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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

 

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

What Congressional Representatives, Senators, and Industry Professionals Should Be Asking About Duty to Serve Manufactured Housing

EQUITY ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky – Investigation Possible Fraud by Certain Officers and Directors of Cavco Industries, plus MH Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Special Opportunities Intelligence Reports, Plus Headwinds, Immediate MHC Independents Warning

April 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

UpcomingSpecialOpportunitiesIntelligenceReportsPlusHeadwindsImmediateMHCIndependentsWarningDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  Keep that simple truth in mind.

 

 

In the case of our industry, that need is for affordable housing, and/or for ‘fast homes.’  Manufactured homes are not instant, but compared to many other operations, HUD Code homes are quicker.

This morning we will tease two upcoming reports, but our focus today is on an immediate headwinds and threats to manufactured home independents. That looming dagger is most notably in the land lease manufactured home community sector, but by extension, into other arenas too.

 

Upcoming 1: There are numerous opportunities that manufactured housing can and should serve. One very specific one will be featured in a report that should be ready next week. Demographic changes are creating opportunities that the big boys will know, but operations of small to medium size need to better understand in order to profit from.

Upcoming 2: perhaps as soon as tomorrow, we will publish a turning ‘lemons into lemonade’ report, that takes nettlesome issues that create headwinds for the industry and reveals how they can become opportunities in disguise.

Immediate – even this morning’s ‘headwinds’ report – which outlines risks current and coming, could be turned into opportunities in disguise for savvy professionals.  So read with care, don’t skim.

 

Superficiality-is-the-curse-of-the-modernWorldMatthewKellyQuoteFancyInspirationBlogMHProNews720

Warren Buffett didn’t say it, but another successful and ethical business guru – Matthew Kelly – did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours a day. Wow…but look were that got him. Invest an hour or two a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews, and share them with your team.  You will have more intelligence for your professional life if you do so. 

 

With those upcoming features noted, let’s dive into today’s Manufactured Housing Intelligence Report for Independents.

 

 

Behind the Curtain of John Oliver’s Mobile Homes Viral Video? MHAction, and Their Agenda

First, the facts. Much of the John Oliver satirical viral hit on manufactured housing ne’er do wells was sourced from MHAction related materials. This is easy to identify because Oliver shows the ‘white paper’ that includes MHAction in his report.

 

MHActionPrivateEquityGiantsConvergeManufacturedHomesLastWeekTonightJohnOliverMobileHomesVideoStillMHProNews

You build a case, by laying out the evidence, one fact at a time.

PrivateEquityGiantsConvergeOnManufacturedHomesMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

You can download their ‘white paper’ at this link here.

That is the same white paper that MHProNews spotlighted for industry independents a few weeks ago. The Washington Post, followed by other news media outlets, reported on that same MHAction co-branded ‘research.’  Note that then and now, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) response was the same. Per sources, they shared a few things with various state executives and others, explained why they really could not effectively respond, and it was just best to let the matter blow over.

Really?

Question. What do they get paid millions of dollars a year to do? Is MHI paid to give excuses? As one source with knowledge told MHProNews, they are committing “association malpractice.” That same source also said MHI has about $4 million in their reserves fund, and that they could mount an effective reply if they wanted to do so.

So why don’t they?

The apparent response from those smiling faces in Arlington, VA where MHI is headquartered is that they obviously don’t want to reply to attacks on the industry, even in this case, when several of those attacked are their own members. That begs the question, why not defend even your own?

As a non-industry attorney investigating manufactured housing issues that called MHProNews this week noted, who benefits from the MHI inaction? Who is harmed by their inaction?

Moving back to the MHAction co-branded ‘white paper.’

Let’s recall where MHAction gets their funding. No conjecture is needed, because here are some eye-opening facts.  Keep in mind what investigative reporter Sharyl Attiksson says, “follow the money.” ICYMI, you can click on the linked report later for more details and insights.

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

 

A) From the bottom of their home page, we see this.  The image is a collage, but from their website with MHProNews comments.

 

MHActionHomePage2019-04-13_0857TheAdvocacyFundThePresidioDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Building that case, one fact after another. Follow the money trail. Ask who benefits? Cui Bono?

 

B) As a reminder, a resident group informed MHLivingNews last year about MHAction’s ties with the Tides Foundation. The Advocacy Fund gets money from the Tides Foundation.

 

TidesAdvocacyFundSupportsMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

C) Who are the top donors to the Tides?

 

TidesFoundationNovoFoundationWarrenBuffettMHActionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

D) Who gave the money to the top donor, the Novo Foundation? Warren Buffett.

 

NoVoFoundationWarrenBuffettPeterBuffettJenniferBuffetInfluenceWatchDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FollowTheMoneySBDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Summing Up Before Moving Onto What’s Coming Next

We are left with the inescapable fact that Buffett’s largess helped pay for that MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ attack on private equity firms investing in manufactured home communities.

We see that MHI, and several state executives affiliated with them, are saying let’s let this blow over.  Buffett’s Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate MHI, as the do numbers of state associations too.

That MHAction co-branded ‘white paper’ targets giant firms, and a common thread is that the ones noted by Oliver’s video were MHI members.

Just as big banks can handle regulatory hurdles better than smaller ones, so too big companies can afford to take media hits easier than smaller firms. So while it may seem counterintuitive to fund those that attack your own interests, that what is occurring. The purported logic is they can take it better than you as as a smaller business can.

To the general public watching that John Oliver video, yes, it may make Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, Frank Rolfe, or others look bad. But that casual observer sees the entire industry looking bad. Here are some actual comments posted on the John Oliver video

 

  • You had me convinced things are wrong when you stated how many people live in mobile homes” – Chris McElroy.

 

  • John Oliver can take any topic I’ve never cared about and make them extremely interesting.” – Perfect Dawnn.

 

  • I’m laughing on the outside but crying inside,,, of my mobile home.” – dustymcdirt.

 

  • Wow, a connection between Warren Buffet and Duck Dynasty.” – TlalocW.

 

  • Wow I never knew all this before. We never hear these on NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX etc.” – Maximus Augustus.

 

  • Socialism for the rich Capitalism for the poor” – LAVIN20.

 

  • You gotta admire the dedication this show’s crew has to actually enroll in these shady seminars just to find out how awful the people behind these things really are.” – Floating Sunfish.

 

MHI, and the states, are doing little more than hand wringing. Hey! Daddy Buffet Bucks helped pay for this assault?!

Are you an MH Independent?  If so, do you see the various ways that the powers that be can hit you with unexpected headwinds?  But there is more.  Like a grand master in chess, your opponents are thinking several moves ahead.

Here is what they’ve already signaled, per sources to MHProNews, on what they are working on next.  The John Oliver viral video on “Mobile Homes,” or the Washington Post and related reports that MHAction – thanks to funding from Uncle Warren – are arguably preparing.  You may look back and think of this as the calm before the coming storm.

 

 

What’s Looming Next?

Start with two words. Rent Control.

The next ‘white paper’ the folks at MHAction are pushing is one calling for broader rent control. It is a threat to MH Communities that are independently owned.  But don’t think that the impact stops there, because our industry is interconnected, so others in MHVille will feel the impact too.  You can access their sadly flawed 2-page summary of their thinking on that issue from the image below, or this link here.  MHAction and their allies are calling for nationwide rent control.

 

OurHomesOurFutreRentControlPromotedByMHAction-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Download their two page summary promoting the flawed notion of rent control, at this link here.

 

We’ve debunked its value before, but the most recent report on that is linked below.  We’ll plan a follow up on the MHAction backed item in the days ahead.  ICYMI – our prior Daily Business News on MHProNews exclusive report, see that at the link below.

 

Rent Control & MH – Politicians “Are Carpet-Bombing Our State With Regulations That Will Deliberately Destabilize The Housing Market And Leave It Obliterated”

 

If you are an association member in a post-production or umbrella trade group, ask your leaders, or yourself, what are they doing to head this off?  That’s what a good trade association does to earn their keep.

 

 

Washington Politicos, Advocates Are Watching John Oliver’s Video

 

Sources are telling MHProNews that the John Oliver “Mobile Homes” viral video has been raising concerns in Washington, D.C. While that doesn’t always result in legislative action, it could. Do you hear that from MHI? What happened to Nathan Smith’s pledge to make MHI more proactive?

 

 

The industry’s independents are left with several vexing problems.  Among them is the question of feeding the hand(s) that bite them, by paying an association(s) that may be working against your interests. Or doing business with brands that may be working against your long-term interests as an independent. Or that some associations stand mute when challenges like these artificially generated headwinds arise.

No easy way out?

If you’ve been paying an organization to protect-educate-promote your firm, perhaps saving those dues or fees would be a useful first step?

Or as a notable association member suggested, there may need to be a battle within those trade groups to wrestle control away from the powers that be which are arguably leading the industry into one ambush after another.

We began this column with a simple truth.  Businesses, organizations, and professions are based upon solving some need(s).  What need does MHI solve?

If their purpose is to help consolidate the industry into ever fewer “big boy” hands, they are succeeding at that mission.

But in that case, MHI would arguably be falsely claiming to represent “all segments of factory-built housing,” when in fact they seem to be serving only a favored few.

Our industry has powerful and timely truths, but they are being obscured by messages like Oliver’s and MHAction’s. The good news about manufactured homes, communities, or the industry at large are not being successfully defended or promoted by MHI. The shipment data proves that all too well.

Febuary2019NewHUDCodeManufacturedHousingShipmentData

 

The facts and quotes that follow demonstrate a snapshot of why this current downturn is avoidable.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

AllTruthPassesThrough3stagesFirstRidiculed2ndViolentlyOpposed3rdAcceptedAsSelfEvidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

That’s Saturday’s edition of “Delivering to Manufactured Home Independents & Investors Useful Intelligence for Your Professional Life.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

Why is Seattle Dying? Affordable Housing, Misplaced Compassion, and Manufactured Homes

MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

Bryan Manufactured Homes Ban Passed, But Petition Count, Other Legal Moves May Stop Texas City

Michigan Association’s Video Campaign, What They’ve Said About Manufactured Home Living

Warren Buffett Wades Into Politics, Why Not John Oliver’s Piece on “Mobile Homes?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Anderson, CEO Champion Homes, MHI ‘New Class’ Monopoly Concerns Memo, ‘Harms Owners, Independents’

March 3rd, 2018 Comments off

KeithAndersonCEOChampionHomesMHINewClassMonopolyConcernsMemoHarmsMHOwnersIndependnets

As the Daily Business News noted in a recent report, corporate officers have responsibilities to shareholders.

 

Association leaders have a similar responsibility to their members.

 

The question of monopoly – an anti-trust law issue – is one being raised across the political spectrum.  From voices as different as The Nation on the far left to Breitbart on the far right, concerns that a few mega-companies are harmfully dominating the marketplace are growing in number.

And those outside voices are growing in their respective sense of urgency.

 

The Nation’s recent multi-part look at issue of monopoly specifically addresses Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes and manufactured housing.  It’s not just voices inside the industry, that the Daily Business News has been reporting on for over a year.

  • Elected congressman, senators,
  • universities,
  • media,
  • think tanks,
  • business and investors,
  • media across the left-right political divide

are all studying this question.  Some have looked specifically at manufactured housing.

It is an issue that CFED – since rebranded as Prosperity Now – previously raised too, as has the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and other voices within manufactured housing.

 

Against that backdrop, MHProNews’ publisher sent an inquiry like the following to the leadership of the Manufactured Housing Institute.  Another message was posed prior to the one to MHI that follows, specifically to Champion Home Builders president, Keith Anderson.

 

—– start of emailed memo w/requests to MHI leadership —–

EmailHeadertoManufacturedHousinginstitute

MHI Leadership,

We advised Keith @ Champion in the message below that we are seeking a response to certain issues related to MHI, and the controversies over the allegedly monopolistic and potentially harmful impact of the ‘new class of manufactured homes’ they plan.

 

MHProNews is hereby asking MHI again to directly supply to us for publication, any and all information and correspondence by any means related to this ‘new class of manufactured homes,’ as it has the potential to negatively impact hundreds if not thousands of businesses, and the home values of millions of existing manufactured home owners.

 

If you see any facts or information that you deem inaccurate, please explain so in writing, and for publication. We have a deadline for this, so a prompt response is welcomed.

 

Thank you, see the forward below for added details.

 

Respectfully,

 

Tony

 

 

—– end of emailed memo w/requests to MHI leadership —–

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The Daily Business News notes for readers that it was about a year ago when the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) began to no longer directly reply to this pro-industry trade media when questions were asked about pending issues of industry interest.

That said, MHI has at times replied indirectly through their own email news, or through surrogates. More on those and other related topics, linked further below.

But as a reminder to long time and new readers, prior to avoiding questions, numerous MHI leaders had publicly praised MHProNews and made themselves available for questions on a routine and prompt basis, a key example is linked.  The point?  Why did that prompt reply policy change?

 

As another reminder, we continue to provide the balance and depth of analysis and coverage of issues not found anywhere else in manufactured housing trade publishing.

Direct questions of broad concern to the industry ought not be construed as an attack, but rather as an opportunity to for those questioned to explain, confirm, or clarify.  It’s what mainstream media does – when it is reporting fairly – too.

We cover the good news, as well as the problematic and controversial.

York’s Champion Production Center Celebrates 58th Birthday

New HUD Code Manufactured Home Factory Opening, State Announces Hundreds of News Jobs

Against that backdrop, the memo with question sent to Keith Anderson, President of Champion Homes yesterday is like what follows.

 

—– start of emailed memo w/questions to Keith Anderson —–

 

Keith,

Beyond our own direct communications, we are informed by reliable sources that you and several team members at Champion closely follow MHProNews.

So, you aware of the concerns we’ve raised about allegedly monopolistic practices that involve the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and some larger players who are influential members there.

It is our understanding that Champion is ‘all in’ with MHI, and MHI aligned state association ‘affiliates.’  Kindly feel free to correct any mistakes in my message.

With that backdrop, we are asking you for your emailed reply comments/reaction to the following. You can note your replies as off-the-record, or from a Champion spokesperson, but we would prefer an on the record reply, directly from you.

1) As an industry expert and as trade media, there seems to be no logical predicate for the so-called ‘new class of manufactured homes’ being promoted by MHI, other than a potentially monopolistic one.

– the HUD Code already provides you with a wide latitude in design, and features, that you or other producers can market your homes however you wish, within normal legal constraints.

– there are already sales being made using existing HUD Code home designs and nomenclature under the current HUD Code to the same target markets that the ‘new class of homes’ are purportedly designed to attract.

 

2) So other than a monopolistic goal, with a supposed aim to marginalize non-participating companies, what is the rationale for this new class of homes?

 

3) Why is MHI attempting to keep the documents related to this so-called ‘new class of homes secret’ from the industry’s top trade media, and by extension, from the bulk of the industry itself?

– Why did Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison cancel his public presentation with Ducker Worldwide on this topic at Louisville, shortly before it was set to begin, other than to avoid our coverage of the topic? After all, he was photographed on the show floor at the very time the presentation was supposed to be taking place?

 

4) Isn’t it possible, or even likely, that this planned ‘new class’ of federally regulated homes is going to have the practical effect of undermining the resale values of every other HUD Code manufactured home?

– Wouldn’t that in turn cause billions of dollars in damages to the value of current manufactured home owners, as well as to the pending consumers of manufactured homes?

– Wouldn’t that also harm the sales of non-participating manufactured home producers?

– Won’t that likewise cause retailers and communities who don’t participate in this plan market harm as well?

 

5) We are told by a senior source at Skyline Corporation that they asked to ‘join the club’ involved in this proposed ‘new class of manufactured homes.’ Please confirm or clarify that statement and the implied concern, vis a viz, the above.

 

6) As your firm, Clayton Homes and Cavco Industries have said in connection with MHI, your three producing firms are about 70 percent of the production of the industry already. Isn’t this planned ‘new class of homes’ just one more example of how key MHI members are leveraging situations to further consolidate (allegedly monopolize) the industry?

 

We have reports that we plan for today and/possibly tomorrow, and you’ve been tracking the issues on MHProNews, including the ‘Trojan Horse’ article linked in our most recent emailed headline news update – which is provided below as a reminder and a courtesy – so your prompt reply is valued.

 

In terms of the total impact of the allegedly monopolistic practices, there seems to be good scholarship that suggests it could total into the hundreds of billions of dollars.  Please note the ‘YIMBY vs. NIMBY – Obama Admin Concept‘ report linked below; if you didn’t already read that last in the light of the monopolistic impact of this ‘new class of homes’ on other HUD Code manufactured homes, financing, incomplete media engagement, and other MHI related issues.  Please scroll past my by line for those or other potentially related links.

 

Finally, please Note that we are bcc’ing interested select industry parties, including legal and federal sources, to document the query, and to underscore the urgency of the issues we are asking for your comments on.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Respectfully,

Tony 

L. A. “Tony” Kovach
Managing Member
LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – DBN
MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com, et al.”

 

—– end of emailed memo w/questions to Keith Anderson —–

Messages like those shown above drew replies on and off the record.

Among those replies were on the record ones from George F. Allen, who asserts that he has dropped his membership at MHI.  If so, Allen’s not alone.

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

Note a related article, that addresses some of Allen’s concerns, linked below.

“F-Bombs” Fly – Cursing Manufactured Housing and Tornadoes – Engaging Public, Experts, Officials, and Media

Another reply came from Amy Bliss at the Wisconsin Housing Alliance (WHA).

Wisconsin Housing Alliance – an MHI ‘Affiliate’ – Amy Bliss’ Messages Raise New Anti-Trust Issue

Both of those industry’s professionals words will be shared at length, verbatim and examined in follow ups.  This article should be updated with links to that follow up.

Both the Allen and Bliss messages were packed with interesting points.

Secretive “NEW” Class of Manufactured Housing Raises Serious Concerns

 

Why This Matters to Manufactured Housing Professionals, Investors and Policy Advocates

As was noted at the top, concerns about monopoly across industries are growing, so in that sense, it isn’t unusual that manufactured housing would likewise have that kind of concern. In England, one source said that anti-trust laws are trigged at 25 percent market share.  That’s there, but what about the U.S.?

It isn’t so cut and dried.  But there are voices that say that monopolies have been reached, or exceeded.  Its an issue that arguably poses a threat to every industry independent involved in manufactured housing.  Watch for follow up reports, and for more information, follow the links below.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Notice: ‘The MHI Party line’ is said to be that there is ‘no there there,‘ or that ‘there is nothing to see, no cause for alarm, move on.’ If MHI is saying through their surrogates that there are no conspiracies (we don’t say conspiracy, we say the facts are hiding in plain sight) so, then why are a growing number of voices outside of the industry that are studying manufactured housing focusing on some of the same issues that MHProNews has been reporting on for over a year?

Common sense suggests where many see smoke, there is a need to look for the cause of the fire.

Related:

Fiduciary Responsibility to Corp Shareholders-MH Anti-Trust Concerns; Plus MH Market UPdate$

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

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By L. A. “Tony” Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

Tony is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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